So what is a PABA, anyway? Short for para-aminobenzoic acid, it is a NATURAL CHEMICAL sometimes identified with vitamin B. It is NOT, nor will it ever be vitamin B. Most people who discuss this chemical are sadly unaware of this fact. It is a pseudo B-like entity, which has no value for human consumption.
So why do we use it? Well, a while back someone realized it has a reflective quality as sunscreen and it can be taken internally for certain issues like constipation or skin conditions like vitiligo. Here’s the thing… it is highly toxic to the liver. It also produces excess reactive oxygen molecules that can interfere with cellular signaling. This leads to cell death and may be a factor of cardiovascular disease.
This cell death is no ordinary death… it is absolute DNA destruction with free radical proliferation = it will lead to melanoma and skin disease.
Common side effects outside of these are: headaches, fatigue, dermatitis, skin sensitization, upset stomach, and nausea. A close cousin, Oxybenzone – also called benzophenone-3 or BP-3) is an organic compound used as a PABA alternative. In sunscreens, lotions, and make up foundations with an SPF, it will absorb UVB and UVA rays. The problem with this one is it is no better than its cousin; it just hasn’t had the widespread awareness PABA has had in the last twenty years. There is a pretty interesting study done by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, which found widespread and high levels of exposure to oxybenzone. After analyzing urine samples from over 2,500 people, researchers found BP-3 in over 96 percent of them, concluding that exposure was prevalent in the general population during 2003-2004. Females were more likely than males to have concentrations above the 95th percentile, according to researchers this is likely as a result of the differences in use of personal care products. Like PABA, Oxybenzone penetrates the skin and increases the production of DNA damaging free radicals when it is exposed to light.
SAY WHAT?!?!?! Did I just say that if you go out in the sunlight, this toxin will destroy your skin and lead to cancer? Wait a second… didn’t we just establish this chemical is EXCLUSIVELY USED in products designed to protect you from the sun? UUUUMMMMM… wait…. what just happened here?!?!?! Anyone else completely stumped as to why PABA and Oxybenzone are in sunscreen and sun care products?
If all this weren’t enough to make you run for the hills (the shaded ones of course!) you should know Oxybenzone has been shown to disrupt the hormone system and cause weak estrogenic activity in animal studies. Hmmmm… have you been noticing lately how fertility issues are on the rise the last few decades? Coincidence? I’ll let you be the judge!
Avoid cousin ingredients in your products:4-AMINOBENZOIC ACID; AMINOBENZOIC ACID; P-AMINOBENZOIC ACID; P-CARBOXYANILINE; 4- AMINOBENZOIC ACID; 4-CARBOXYANILINE; AMBEN; AMINOBENZOIC ACID; ANTICANITIC VITAMIN; P-AMINOBENZOIC ACID; P-CARBOXYANILINE